Sainsbury’s said it has decided to wind down its banking division as part of plans to focus its efforts on the retail business, which could affect its 1.9 million Sainsbury’s Bank customers in the future.
The company said it was exploring several options as part of a “phased withdrawal” from the banking business.
The changes could result in products being outsourced to other providers, which it already does with its insurance products, and through which it offers Argos credit cards and loans to about 2.1 million customers.
Sainsbury’s Bank currently offers loans, credit cards and savings accounts from its own bank.
Sainsbury’s stressed it will be “business as usual for now” at the bank, with nothing immediately changing for customers or the products and services it offers.
There is no current timeline for how long the exit will take.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “We have been clear since we launched our food first strategy in 2020 that we would concentrate our efforts on our core retail businesses and today’s announcement reflects that strategic focus.
“We will, of course, communicate directly to customers well in advance of any changes to their products and services.”
Sainsbury’s Bank chief executive Jim Brown is set to retire from his role amid the wind-down of the division.
He will be replaced by Robert Mulhall, who previously headed up Allied Irish Bank’s UK division, at the end of March to oversee the changes.